The first step of incorporating your business in Alabama (either LLC, Corp, Partnership etc.) starts with checking the availability of the business name and filing for name reservation.
Alabama is one of the few states where filing for name reservation is mandatory for incorporation. The business name can be reserved for the period of 120 days which can be further renewed. The business name reservation can also be transferred.
Alabama Business Name Requirement
Alabama Secretary of State has mandated certain requirements which you must keep in mind while selecting a business name.
The business name must be unique and distinguishable from any existing business entity name registered with Secretary of State. Also any difference in grammar, similarly sounding business name, or using stop words does not make the business name unique and it will lead to the name being rejected.
For example following names are not distinguishable:
- Justin Plumber LLC vs The Justin Plumber LLC
- Mango Farm LLC vs Mango Farms LLC
- Jake & Mary Corporation vs Jake and Mary Corporation
Required suffix in the business name:
- For Corporations:
Must contain either “Corporation”, “Incorporated” or an abbreviation of one of such words.
- For LLC
Must contain either “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
Name containing “bank,” “banking,” “banker,” “trust,” “insurance,” “insurer,” “engineer,” “architect” or any abbreviation of such words cannot be used. Prior approval needs to be taken to use these words in the business name (Link).
Checking the Availability of a Business Name
Alabama Secretary of State provides an online tool to check the availability of any business name. You can use this tool to find and research name for your business. We have written an in-depth tutorial on how to search for a business name in Alabama.
How to Reserve Business Name
Business name reservation can be done either Online or by Mail. Filing for name reservation online is recommended as its more convenient and business name can be reserved instantly.
|Fees||$28 Instant Approval|
- Open Alabama business name reservation page – Link.
- Click on ‘Name Reservation‘ button.
- On the next page click on ‘Non-Subscriber‘ button.
- Fill in your contact and address details. Click on ‘Continue‘ button.
- Next, enter the business name you have selected and click on ‘Continue‘ button.
- On the next page, enter the ‘Type of Reservation‘ and ‘Type of Entity‘. Click on ‘Continue‘ button.
- Next, click on ‘Name Reservation only‘ button.
- Next fill in the Requestor information. You can click on ‘Copy information‘ to fill it from the details entered in Step 4. Click on ‘Continue‘ button.
- On the next page, verify all the entered information. If there is any error or typo, you can edit it here. Once the information is verified, tick the checkbox on the bottom of the page and click on ‘Continue‘ button.
- Fill in your credit/debit card details and make the payment of $28.
- Once the payment is successfully done, you will be able to download the name reservation certificate. The certificate will also be mailed to your entered email address (available for 15 days).
|Fees||$10 for Normal Processing|
$25 for 24 hours expedited processing.
|Address||PO Box 5616,|
|Processing Time||Around 3 days after the receipt|
- Download the Alabama Name reservation form – Link.
- Fill the form with the requested details.
- Include the money order/check/credit card payment ($10 for normal and $25 for 24 hours processing).
Check/money order must be drawn in name of “Secretary of State Alabama“.
- Send the filled form to PO Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103.
Alabama Secretary of State Contact
For any queries, you can contact the SOS at 334-242-5324 during business hours.
Last Updated: 17/07/2018